How to Make Clever Use of Twitter Hashtags to Promote Your Business

By: | August 24th, 2012

Our last post was about common mistakes when microblogging, so for this post, we have decide to help you with microblogging for your business. Specifically, this post will talk about improving your microblogging on Twitter by using hashtags wisely. All right, then! Let’s dive into the subject.

Your business is using Twitter, yet you’re not getting the number of followers you expected? Try checking which hashtags you are using. One major way in which a brand can increase its Twitter fame and number of followers is a clever use of hashtags. Hashtags are the pound signs (#) that are followed by a tag (a keyword or a key phrase that is spelled out with no spaces). Examples for hashtags are #BritneySpears and #Apple.

For an informative documentary on the history of hashtags, watch this video (or read the official definition):

If you search Twitter for a specific hashtag or keyword, you get a stream of all the tweets of users who mentioned this hashtag. Sharing hashtags creates a conversation in a way that it exposes you to other people who are talking about the same topic

Twitter search

But what hashtags, exactly, should you use? Which hashtags get the most attention? Should you create a unique hashtag for your brand?

 

Hashtags: How It’s Done

Here are some tips for effective use of hashtags for your business. After you’ve finished reading, start (hash)tagging away!

 #UseCommonHashtags


Use relevant, common keywords for your hashtags, so that people looking for a certain product or service can find them easily.

Printers hashtag in twitter
Are you selling printers? Don’t forget to use the #printers hashtag.

#UsePopularHashtags


Popular hashtags are those which get searched for a lot. To check which are the popular hashtags of the moment, try these websites:

Trendsmap
What’s trending in New York? #romney, #nytimes, #iphone5, #mets  and #fridge.

#ButOnlyRelevantOnes


Take care not to litter your tweets with irrelevant tags like #justinbieber or #ipad just because they’re popular. They might distract users and make them think you’re spamming the feed – which may lead them to ignore your tweets in the future.

The well-known furniture company Habitat, who had opened their UKaccount (@HabitatUK) several years ago, unwittingly used spamming hashtags in the hope of getting more followers. Read this article from socialmediatoday.com to learn about the damaging effects of using overly popular hashtags.

#BecomeATrendingTopic


Twitter has a very useful feature called trending topics. Trending topics are the most popular hashtags of the day, and they appear on the left hand side of the Twitter page, under ‘Worldwide Trends’:

Twitter trending topics

Twitter has added a unique feature which allows you to customize your trending searches. By clicking the ‘Change’ button, you can either choose a specific country, or click on ‘Get Tailored Trends’ which gives you trends based on your location and the users you’re following.

To become a trending topic, you should tweet a lot (with the hashtag you want to trend) in a short period of time. If you are planning an online event with many of your followers or fan, or an actual event like a store opening or a party for your fans, encourage them to post from the event using that hashtag, to increase its chances to become a trending hashtag.

#CreateYourOwnHashtag


Differentiate your brand from other by creating a special hashtag for your business. Make sure to check whether that hashtag already exists at search.twitter.com. Also, keep your hashtag short! Remember, tweets are limited to 140 characters, so if you want people to add comments when they mention your hashtags leave them the space to do so.

#ShareYourHashtagOutsideTwitter

Wondering how people will know about your newly created hashtag? Make sure you promote it the other online channels you’re using: share it on your website, your blog, and your youtube videos. When you post links to your social network profiles (Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.) make sure you mention your hashtag next to the link to you Twitter profile. You can also promote your hashtag on your facebook statuses, include them in captions for your Instagram photos, etc.

#CreateHashtagsForSpecialOccasions


Are you opening a new branch? Are you organizing a competition? Are you planning to release a new product into the market? Create special hashtags to promote these events on Twitter, such as #SeptemberGiveaways or #BerlinConference2013.

Here are two examples:

The Body Shop UK gives gifts to followers using the hashtag #TBSGiveJoy.

Steve Madden using hashtag to promote event

Steve Madden USA is re-opening their Soho shop, and using the hashtag #WelcomeBackSoho to promote the event – and followers have started using it, too. 

To check whether your special hashtag is indeed being used, you can try looking it in up one of these Twitter analytics tools. They all give stats like the number of tweets mentioning your hashtag, the number of Twitter users you have reached, and so on:

Tell us about your experience with Hash Tags

We hope that this article has inspired you with ideas for your hashtags on Twitter.

Do you also have some insights on effective use of hashtags? Have you made hashtag mistakes that you’d like to share? Please tell us!

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Dafna Ben-Yehoshua Google+

A biologist turned content writer who dances lindy hop for fun. Specializes in multi-tasking and never getting enough sleep. An expert on cats, dark chocolate, and how prevent cats from eating her chocolate.

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